FODS issue blueprint
THE Friends of the Douglas Shire will hold a public meeting later this month to outline its blueprint to de-amalgamate from Cairns Regional Council.
FODS is hoping the state election due in March will clear the way for de-amalgamation, with both the LNP and Katter’s Australia Party giving commitments for a local vote on the issue.
The public meeting, to be held at the old Mossman Shire Hall on Monday, December 12, will outline a potential pathway to de-amalgamation, present a model which demonstrates the likely costs and table the possible structure of a new council and governance plan.
Guest speakers will include Robert Hanan and Michael Gabour representing FODS, former Douglas Shire Council mayor Mike Berwick and former council manager David Carey.
Politicians from Labor, the LNP, the Australia Party and the Greens have also been invited to speak and the community will have the opportunity to have their say.
FODS spokesman Michael Gabour said the public meeting would be an ideal opportunity for the community to voice its opposition to amalgamation.
“The ultimate outcome of that meeting is for a return to the former Douglas Shire - we need to break away from the Cairns Regional Council,” he said.
“This has to be done so that we can once again control our own destiny, set our own policies that affect our region.
“What we have at present, is a local government with nine councillors having no connection to this region.
“FODS has endeavoured, during the past four years to present the deleterious effects of amalgamation on the community.
“Decisions made by a majority of CRC councillors have shown, by their voting patterns, contempt for what Douglas stands for.”
The Australia Party’s candidate for Cook Lachlan Bensted said his party would hold a referendum in the Douglas region within 90 days if it wins office.
“There was a huge cost of amalgamation and many residents are telling me that they are worse off since amalgamation,” he said.
FODS will be holding the public meeting from 6pm on December 12 at the Old Mossman Shire Hall in Mill St.